A day after the Central Bureau of Investigation filed a closure report in the RTI activist Satish Shetty murder case, an IPS officer from Uttar Pradesh (UP), Amitabh Thakur, said the CBI had shown “undue haste” and he would approach the Prime Minister for intervention in the matter.
Thakur, Inspector General (Civil Defence) in UP, said he was associated with the National RTI Forum of which Shetty was Pune district in-charge. He said he was supporting Shetty’s family. “Shetty’s killers should be traced. I have come across some facts about the case, which are serious in nature. I am also bringing them to the notice of the Prime Minister for appropriate action,” he said.
Shetty’s family raised doubts about the closure report filed by CBI on Monday, as three days before that, it had sought permission from the Bombay High Court to reopen an alleged land fraud case filed by Shetty. CBI had told the court that land fraud case might be linked to Shetty’s murder.
A senior CBI officer said if new evidence came to light, the agency would reopen the case.
Shetty was murdered on January 13, 2010, in Talegaon Dabhade.
Thakur told this paper, “RTI activist Satish Shetty’s brothers Sandip living in Pune and Santosh living in USA had contacted me on phone and email in the beginning of July. Santosh had sent me an email dated July 3, 2014 where he apprehended closure of the probe in the murder case.”
“Later, Sandip told me over phone that an investigating officer probing the case had told him that he was under tremendous pressure from senior officers of CBI to file a closure report. But the officer was finding it very difficult to follow this because there was enough evidence on record to charge-sheet the accused. Sandip told me that the officer told him that a few senior CBI officers were doing so for personal gains and very soon a closure report would be filed.”
“On 10 August (Sunday), both Santosh and Sandip called me over phone and told me that they have known from the IO that CBI shall file the closure report on Monday (11 August). They called me to Pune, where today I was witness to an irrefutable evidence which talked of the investigating officer lamenting about pressure by certain senior CBI officers, that the IO was thinking of resigning and taking up the cause.”
‘CBI found nothing against us’
At a press conference on Tuesday, retired police inspector Bhausaheb Andhalkar of local crime branch (LCB) of Pune rural police, which probed Shetty’s murder, said, “Sandip Shetty had named 26 persons including me, some other cops, IRB office bearers, in the offence registered with CBI. The closure report means CBI found nothing against us. I am still ready for any test or investigation.”
Andhalkar had arrested six in including advocate Vijay Dabhade. Police claimed that the arrests were made following a confession by historysheeter Santosh Shinde that he accepted Rs 1 lakh from Dabhade for killing Satish, but refused on learning that the RTI activist was working for the common man. Rural police pointed out details of past disputes between Shetty and Dabhade. Sandip said these disputes were settled. He said Satish exposed an alleged land scam by IRB and Sabale Waghire group in Kamshet. Lonavala city police lodged an offence against IRB CMD Virendra Mhaiskar and 12 others including government officials on October 15, 2009. On November 24, 2009, Satish applied to the rural police for protection.
CBI took over investigations in September 2010. CBI conducted polygraph tests on Mhaiskar and policemen from Pune rural police. No arrests were made.
Shetty’s brother to approach court
According to Satish Shetty’s brother Sandip, “CBI officers probing the case told me there was pressure to file a closure report. If we look at investigationtill now, there is a clear link between the FIR Satish had registered about the land fraud and his murder. The CBI stated this time and again. But the closure report says that they have not been able to find any concrete link. CBI has said this in the closure report. I am confident this report will not stand scrutiny of court. I will approach the High Court soon.”